SLEEP: Day 19-21 of 30 – I Have No Dreams

I Have No Dreams

I love having dreams.  But on Day 19, 20 and 21 of the 30 Day Sleep Challenge I didn’t have any – that I can remember.  I used to have such intense dreams I would carry those emotions with me throughout the day, even though I couldn’t remember exactly what my dream was about.  There was a time I wanted to keep a notebook by my bed so I could write down my dreams as soon as I woke up, before I forgot them.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

 

Day 19
12:15am – 7:45 am (7hours 30minutes), Hit Snooze: like 10x? 

Day 20
2:00am – 8:30am + 5:00pm-6:00pm nap (7hours 30 minutes), Hit Snooze: n/a

Day 21
2:15am – 9:45am + 5:00pm cat nap (7hours 30 minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x

Why we dreams and what they mean are different to everyone. I believe that dreams (and nightmares)  are subconscious thoughts and feelings, hopes and fears, you’re unable to express when you’re awake. It’s the ultimate mental escape, which is just another reason that getting sleep is so important. It gives me a window to a part of my soul I’m either ignoring or am oblivious to.

So what does it mean that I’m not having any dreams? Does that mean I’m content? Or does it mean that even my brain needs a break from everything?

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 16-18 of 30 – Let Mommy Sleep

Let Mommy Sleep

I have to admit, so far getting 7 hours of sleep at night is a much easier challenge than I thought it would be.  I thought that the act of falling asleep, which has always been difficult for me, was going to be my biggest hurdle.  Who knew that simply putting my phone far from arm’s reach was the solution.  The only thing I haven’t been able to resolve through this 30 Day Sleep Challenge is getting my kids to sleep in their beds through the night, every night.  How many of you have a voice that screams in your head, “LET MOMMY SLEEP!”? How many of you actually scream it aloud?

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Day 16
12:15-7:30 (7 hours), Hit Snooze: 2x

Slept with my daughter in her room last night because of the storm; the winds and rain were so loud I don’t blame her for being scared. Thought it would be better than having her wake me up in the middle of the night.  Didn’t work out as planned. Her kicking woke me up through the night. I think she punched me once too.

Day 17
12:15-7:15 (7 hours), Hit Snooze: 1x

It’s like my kids conspire against me – how do both of them have nightmares the same night? First my little one came down in the middle of the night.  His little 3-foot body managed to take over my side of the bed. As soon as I woke up to adjust him, my older one walked in.  So I gave up and let her take up whatever remaining space there was in our bed and I left to go sleep in her bed.

Day 18
11:45-7:15 (7 hours, 30 minutes), Hit Snooze: 1x

Today was a rare night. I don’t even remember falling asleep, and slept through the entire night, no interruptions. I was ready to complain about my husbands snoring as tonight’s interruption, instead he complained about mine. Sorry, not sorry.

How did this miracle happen you wonder? My mom came to stay the night, and the kids both slept with her in the guest room. Grandmas are the best.

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 13-15 of 30 – I Forgot How To Do Math

I Forgot How To Do Math

On Day 13, 14 and 15 either my internal clock is broken or I’ve forgotten how to do math because I kept having trouble calculating the amount of sleep I was getting. Sleep is supposed to help your brain, not make you stupid.  Or maybe it’s my kid’s common core math homework successfully screwing with how I add and subtract. All I have are 10-frames and counters in my head and none of it makes sense.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Day 13
1:00am – 8:30am (7hours 30min), Hit Snooze: 0x

When I woke up I was upset I couldn’t fall back to sleep to catch some more zzz’s. I wanted at least 7hours. When I complained to my husband about us falling asleep at 2am, he said we actually knocked right before 1am, in the middle of the movie.

Day 14
1:30am – 9:30 am (8hours), Hit Snooze: 0x

For some reason I kept calculating wrong and thought I only got 6 hours of sleep.  I woke up so tired and was sure I didn’t get 7 hours rest, until I remembered that I was on my feet for almost 5 hours yesterday at Women’s March.

Day 15
12:30 – 7:45 (7hours 15minutes), Hit Snooze: 3x

Total sleep was probably more like 6 hours and 45 minutes since I hit snooze so many times.  I don’t know anymore. I’m too tired to think.

 

Now that I’m half-way through the 30 Day Sleep Challenge, this is the time I like to step back and take stock of how I’m doing. Here are some observations I’ve made on Day 1 – 15:

  • I’m averaging more sleep a night, but haven’t felt more energetic. 🐌
  • On the contrary, my body and brain seem to be more tired. 😴 Sure, I have other things going on that I’m not detailing, but life is always going on. 🎭
  • Surprisingly adjusted to an earlier bedtime very easily. 🛌
  • Eliminating sleep distractions has been easier than I thought.  Biggest help is put my phone far away from me at night. 👋🏼📱
  • I used to be a morning shower person, until I become a stay-at-home-mom.  Now I’m lucky if I shower at least 3x week. 🙊 For the first few days I would take a shower every morning and it helped jolt me up in the morning.  🚿
  • The snooze button is a blessing and a curse. ⏰🔨
  • All I do at night is watch a show or movie. 📺 What was I doing before that was so important that I needed to stay up till 2am?

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 10-12 of 30 – Confused Sleeping Partner

Confused Sleeping Partner

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

For the past 9 days I didn’t tell my husband I was doing the 30 Day Sleep Challenge.  Since we’re both night owls, we’re used to each of being busy either separately or together till the wee hours.  When one of us randomly goes to bed before 1am, we know the endless nights of exhaustion has finally caught up.  But since I’ve been lights out around midnight back-to-back days, I finally had to confess to my husband what I’ve been up to.

Day 10
12:30am – 7:45am (7hours 15minutes), Hit Snooze: 2x

Even though I got a solid 7 hours of sleep, I couldn’t seem to wake up. I should be up and at ’em 7:00am in order to get the kids out of the house by 8:30am without acting like a crazy lady. It’s a good thing I had already planned to treat myself to coffee today, because I seemed to need it.

Day 11
12:30am – 7:30am (7hours), Hit Snooze: 1x

I could’ve went to sleep earlier, but with the end of Obama’s tenure and all the talk about Trump, I just had to continue binge watching House of Cards.  Netflix, I love you. But you’re ruining my sleep.

Day 12
11:30am – 7:30am (8hours), Hit Snooze: 2x

I was barely able to keep my eyes open and knocked out surprisingly early; before midnight?! Totally helped that this season of The Affair is a bore.  But, so that my husband wouldn’t worry that something was wrong with me, I finally confessed to him I was doing the sleeping challenge.

It’s not that I was hiding it from my husband, but doing these 30 Day Challenges are a thing I do on my own.  The funny thing is that my husband has either consciously or subconsciously started to go to bed earlier than normal too.  I don’t know if he actually goes to sleep earlier, but he’s by my side, laying in bed with me when I decide that my day is over.  Albeit, he’s laying there in the dark watching youtube or reading tech news on his phone, but now it’s at 12:30 instead of 2:30.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 7-9 of 30 – I Love Lattes

I Love Lattes

I’m on a roll with this 30 Day Sleep Challenge!  Wasn’t sure how the weekend would look, but I was able to fit in at least 7hours on Day7, 8 and 9 even when I went back to my usual, preferred, bedtime of 2:00am.  But with all this sleep, I have no physical reason to make a Dunkin Donuts run. What I feared is coming true! But it’s even worse. I never thought myself as a coffee drinker.  I don’t like hot beverages. I don’t like hot coffee, especially the smell of it.  I didn’t start drinking iced coffee until I had kids.  Then I discovered the iced caramel latte (regular milk, no whip cream).  And now I can’t deny it.
“Hi, my name is 30DaysV, and I love lattes.”

Day 7
2:00am – 9:00am (7hours), Hit Snooze: 0x

Yay for Saturday! And for a husband who takes the kids on weekend mornings.

Day 8
2:00am – 12:00pm (10hours!), Hit Snooze: 0x

Yay for grandparents who take my kids for a sleepover when the kids don’t have school. Had a relaxing night with family and friends that included a lot of wine and a continuation of my House of Cards marathon.

Day 9
12:15pm – 7:15am (7hours), Hit Snooze: 0x

Shocked I was able to fall alseep relatively early. But even more shocked that I went into the office and survived the day without coffee.  I was definitely craving it all day, but didn’t need it. I wasn’t sleepy. I wasn’t yawning. My brain was focused, except for the nagging need of caffeine.

As a reward for how well I’m doing, I’m treating myself to a iced caramel latte tomorrow. 😋 And as a DD Perks member, I have a FREE Beverage Reward waiting to be used. Winner!

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 4-6 of 30 – Sleeping Stress Away

Sleeping Stress Away

It’s been a tough week. Usually I’m good at keeping a positive attitude, but as little things kept piling up I felt like I was getting hit left-and-right.  I face-planted at the train station.  I dropped and shattered my iphone.  My son caught the stomach flu.  My daughter was pushed during basketball and scraped the skin right off her knee.  This is all on top of the biggest problem that I can’t even mention here.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Stress and sleep have never went hand-in-hand for me.  But on Day 4, 5 and 6 of the 30 Day Sleeping Challenge I was more conscious of the need to escape reality, not using vices like wine or comfort food, but through the best option – sleep.

Day 4
12:15am – 7:00am (6hours 45minutes), Hit Snooze: 1x

This week I’ve been dealing with some annoying information that’s causing me a lot of stress.  Usually when I have a lot on my mind, I have trouble sleeping. I will lay in bed for hours, either sulking or brainstorming solutions, usually a little bit of both.  Tonight I decided to prevent a sleepless night by succumbing to my emotionally exhausted brain and shutting down early.

Day 5
12:00am – 7:30am (7hours 30minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x

My little guy came home sick from school.  He had a febrile seizure once when he was an infant and since then I take his fevers seriously, even a mild one.  So tonight I wanted him to sleep in bed with me so I could keep an eye on him.

Day 6
1:45am – 7:15am, 7:30am-9:15am, 9:30-10:30 (7hours 45minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x

In an attempt to relax and spend time together not talking about adult stuff, my husband and I decided to watch a light-hearted movie to bed.  Thank you Zack Galifianakis for giving me a few laughs.  I really needed them.  At 7:15am my little guy snuck into my bed, and together we snoozed the rest of the morning away.  When I woke up at 9:30am, everyone was still sleeping so I snuck away to the basement and watched an episode of House of Cards with my eyes closed (aka I listened to Season1 Episode11 – poor Peter. I was really rooting for him).

Since starting the Instagram account for the 30DayChallengeAccepted blog, I’ve been surfing quotes on whatever topic is on my mind.  Whether that’s ‘challenges’, ‘sleep’ or ‘stress’, reading these inspiring words has helped me keep my problems in prospective.  Luckily most of the issues I listed are passing, and the big one (hopefully) financially burdening only short-term. I can’t control any of it.  But the one thing I can try to control is my response to it.  Sleep being one of those important things.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 1-3 of 30 – How Am I Still So Sleepy?!

How Am I Still So Sleepy?!

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

I’ve gotten more sleep the past three days than I normally do.  On Days 1, 2, and 3 of the 30 Day Sleep Challenge I averaged 6-1/2hours a night (my  norm is closer to 5-6hours a night). Yet I feel even more tired during the day now than I did before.  What is going on?

Day1
12:30am-7:00am (6-1/2hours), Hit Snooze: 1x

Hubby got a work call at 3:30am that woke me up. Have a mentioned that I’m a very light sleeper.

Day 2
12:30am-7:00am (6-1/2hours), Hit Snooze: 0x

Slept right through the night, yet when I woke up I laid there for 20minutes before finally getting out of bed.  One of my future challenges will have to be the Morning Challenge.

Day 3
12:15am-4:30am, 5:00am-7:30am (6-1/2hours), Hit Snooze: 3x

In the middle of the night my son woke me up when he crawled into our bed.  Then I couldn’t fall back to sleep because my husband started snoring.  So I went to sleep in the guest room, stopping by my daughter’s room to give her a kiss, but she wasn’t in bed and I got scared.  Thought maybe my son had come to our room because she crawled into his bed, but she wasn’t in his bed either.  So I ran to wake my husband, and there she was… tucked by his side, hidden from view.  Unlike her little brother, she knows how to sneak into our bed without waking me.

I thought it would be a struggle to go to sleep earlier than 1:00am, but instead I’m finding struggling to stay awake by midnight.  I was expecting with more sleep I would have more energy, but instead it’s like my body is begging for even more sleep.  Apparently I’m supposed to be hibernating. So off I go… good night.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 0 of 30 – Need Sleep

Need Sleep

Choosing this next challenge was actually a last minute decision. I had another challenge I really wanted to do, the Spending-Hiatus Challenge, but since the money I spend is usually essentials for my children – the only personal sacrifice I would be making would be my Dunkin Donuts trips. And taking my iced caramel lattes away can prove to be dangerous.

As I spent late hours trying to find a saving/spending/money challenge that made sense, I found myself scouring Google and Pinterest with heavy eyelids.  Which made me think – I really need to sleep.

30DayChallengeAccepted Sleep

We’ve all heard of the benefits of a full, good night’s rest, but how many of us adults, specifically parents, actually get the recommended 7-9hours? I assure you that this will be a huge challenge for me. I’m a night owl. I get a surge of energy after the kids are settled in for the night, so their after-hours are usually when I take care of tasks I don’t do during the day, like this blog.

 

3Day Challenge Accepted SleepThe Sleep Challenge post that kept popping up was by OurHeritageOfHealth.com.  There isn’t a calendar with daily tasks to fulfill like the previous challenges I’ve done, but it had three simple rules that I can work with: 1) set reasonable goals, 2) reward yourself and 3) do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Before I list my goals, let’s first state my Status Quo:

  • My current bedtime is ~1:30am and I’m up and struggling by 7:30am.
  • I have a very difficult time falling asleep, unlike my husband who snoozes as soon as his head hits the pillow
  • I’m not a morning person. I hit snooze a few times before I finally roll out of bed.
  • I usually (accidentally) take power nap when I’m putting my younger one down for his nap
  • On weekends, my family let’s me sleep in and I don’t wake up until almost 11:00am
  • I love my bed

I have to be aware not to make potential results my goals (like ‘have more energy’, ‘be more focused’, or ‘get better skin’). So My Goals are:

  • sleep at least 7hours a night for 30days, with the ultimate goal to get 8 hours
  • finish this challenge as close to 30days as possible
  • eliminate sleep distractions for good
  • find ways to induce sleep
  • become a better morning person

Watch this challenge reduce my trips to Dunkin Donuts anyways! How ironic would that be.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

 

KINDNESS: 30Day Challenge Review – Five Takeways

KINDNESS: 30Day Challenge Review – Five Takeaways

At the beginning of the holiday season I wanted to embrace the magic of the time of year where we talk about the importance of giving.  A reader left a comment in one of earlier blogs about the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, by Cami Walker.

30DayChallengeAccepted 29GiftsBook

Her memoir inspired me to seek a challenge that had the same intention: do something for someone else every day for 30Days.  That’s how I came across PopSugar’s Challenge.

 

Here are MY GOALS that I listed on Day 0:

  • to complete this in 30days flat 👍🏼

Ended up at doing and extra day of kindness and took this challenge for 31Days! 

  • to find out-of-the-box acts of kindness 👌🏼

I found that some of the tasks were giveaways because as I mom, part of the role requires you to be kind by default. But there were definitely some things that were out of the box, like leaving a note in a library book.

 

Five Takeaways From This Challenge:

1. It’s a relief that I’m not the witch I make myself out to be.

There were many things on PopSugar’s list that I do regularly, like running errands for others, babysitting, or letting cars merge in front of me.  Having common courtesy is not as common as I thought. 

2. An act of kindness does not need to be a grand gesture

Sometimes the most simple thing makes the biggest impact, the smallest being – a smile.  I have a resting-bitch-face, but when I see someone else smile at me it dissolves quickly.

3. You shouldn’t be kind to only those you assume are less fortunate

Everyone, even that person who seems to have it all together, is fighting a battle you don’t know about.  Everyone could use a pick-me-up whether that’s in the form of a genuine smile or small gift.

4. Accepting kindness is also a form of kindness

How often does someone offer something to you and you say “Ohhhh nooo, it’s ok” in an attempt to be gracious. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin.  So when someone is being kind to you, try to accept it gratefully. Genuinely say “Thank You” and let them know how much you appreciate their offer.

5. Kindness is contagious

Try it and see for yourself.  

Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

KINDNESS: Day 28-30/30 – Plus Bonus Day31!

Plus Bonus Day31

I almost didn’t reach my goal to complete this 30Day Challenge in exactly 30Days.  But I surprised myself and went for an extra day of kindness.

30DayChallengeAccepted Kindness

Day28
“Ask someone how they are and really listen when they answer.”

I thought this would be easy because I consider myself a good listener.  But I didn’t have the chance to talk to anyone face-to-face today, unless you count my kids. I asked them how they are, but have you tried to have the conversation with a kid? It’s very short.  A conversation with my husband, even shorter.

So, I texted my closest girlfriends, but they were all normal every-day conversation. When I tried to make them deeper, it felt too forced and disingenuous so I stopped.  Then when the day was almost over, a friend texted me and we got into an effortless deep and personal conversation .  I’m not going into detail about who it was and what we talked about, but these moments make me grateful that I have amazing girlfriends who willingly share their ups and downs with me.

Day29
“Give encouragement to someone who is working hard.”

I crap on him all the time. It’s easy.  But without a doubt, I will be the first person to tell you how hard my husband works.  He has his 9-5, but he also has an internet business he maintains on the side. Basically he works 24/7 to support our family and allow me to be a stay-at-home mom.

He probably thought I had more than one glass of wine at dinner, but I let him know how awesome I think he is at what he does.  That even though he’s on a device all the time, and his phone is always ringing at odd hours… that I am in awe of how he handles all the technical tasks, deals with people from across the globe, and makes it look easy.

Day30
“Spend a day saying only nice things about – and to- other people.”

TAKE 1 – I can’t even fudge it, I completely failed this today. It was the first day back to the grind – husband back to work / kids back to school.  After over a week off, everyone was out of wack, including myself.  With the Kindness Challenge on my mind, I was already more patient than I normally would be, but the two adorable beings I gave birth to pushed me beyond my limits and it put me in a funk for the rest of the day.

TAKE 2 – right before I went to bed, I was having conversations with mommy friends and by the end of it I had ended up volunteering for a position that unexpectedly opened on the executive board of the PTA.  I was ready to call it quits on kindness for Day30, then this happened and I think it totally counts.

BONUS – Day 31

I could’ve ended the challenge yesterday, but after such a rough day I wanted a Day30-do-over.  I woke up with a fresh mind and a fresh heart.  I think my kids did too because whatever demons possessed them were gone and we had a picture-perfect morning.  I went into the office and had a productive day and lots of laughs with my co-workers. Ended my day with a relaxing family dinner at my in-laws and an easy night-routine with my kids. I spent the day genuinely saying and doing nice things, and it was the perfect way to end this challenge.

CHALLENGE: KINDNESS – ✔️ COMPLETED

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE